Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: 2020 Submission Guidelines

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 6 will be published in mid-2021 and select from science fiction stories (short stories, novelettes, and novellas) originally published in English in 2020.

Translations are allowed as long as their first English language appearance is in 2020. To keep things simple, I will be using the publisher’s copyright, magazine’s cover date, or posting date (primarily for online fiction) to determine eligibility. Serialized works will be considered published at the time of the final installment.

Print materials must be received by November 1st. Digital materials must be received by November 15th. If your project is scheduled for publication after that date, please send galleys by the above deadlines so that I will have sufficient time to consider your work.

I will require non-exclusive World anthology rights in English in print, ebook, and audio formats for stories I select for this volume.

I will accept science fiction stories, novelettes, and novellas for consideration in the following formats:

Print – mail to:
Neil Clarke
PO Box 172
Stirling, NJ 07980 

EPUB, MOBI, and .DOC – email to:

I strongly dislike reading PDFs and they are more difficult to work with, so please do not send me work in this format unless you have no other options.

Publishers: If sending a magazine/anthology/collection that also contains other fantasy/horror/other stories, please list the titles of the science fiction stories in your cover letter or email.

Authors: I will not be able to let you know whether or not your work has been submitted by your publisher. To avoid duplication, please check with your publisher before sending a story. If your work is self-published, please include the date and location (blog, website, Amazon, etc.) your work was originally published.

Stories published in the following magazines and anthologies do not need to be submitted. I already have (or will receive) them. UPDATED 10/27/2020

Magazines: Abyss & Apex, Analog, Apex, Asimov’s, Cirsova, Clarkesworld, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Cossmass Infinities, Departure Mirror Quarterly, Diabolical Plots, Escape Pod, F&SF, Fiction River, Future SF, Future Tense Fiction/Us in Flux (Slate), Galaxy’s Edge, GigaNotoSaurus,  Interzone, Kaleidotrope, Lightspeed, Little Blue Marble, Metaphorosis, Mithila Review, Samovar, Shoreline of Infinity, Strange Horizons,, Translunar Travelers Lounge, Uncanny

Anthologies: 20,000 Leagues Remembered, A Dying Planet Short Stories, Africanfuturism: An Anthology, And the Last Trump Shall Sound, Avatar: Indian Science Fiction, Avatars, Community of Magic Pens, The Dystopia Triptych (Ignorance is Strength, Burn the Ashes, Or Else the Light), Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters, Glitter + Ashes, Made to Order, Upon a Once Time, Reading 5X5 x2: Duets, Recognize Fascism, Silk and Steel, Unidentified Funny Objects 8, Way of the Laser, Writers of the Future: Volume 36

Sending a book/file/story is a one-way transaction. I will not be confirming receipt or returning materials.

Notes on publication dates:

  • Magazines: It is traditional for magazine cover date to be used to determine year of publication, however, if a story from a January issue is published on the website of that publication in December of the prior year, that will be considered the first publication date. This is considered an intentional publication by the publisher in the earlier year.
  • Anthologies: If the ebook or an e-Arc of an anthology is made available for purchase (and delivery, preorders don’t count) in the year prior to the official copyright year, the earlier year will be ignored when determining eligibility.  If the print edition happens to ship a few days earlier than the official publication date, causing it to drift into the prior year, the copyright date will be used. Unlike the digital publication dates, this is something that tends to be outside the publisher’s control. This is why they are treated differently.


Short Story Cover Letters


2020 NASFIC (Virtual)


  1. Neil, will you be doing this for 2021 stories as well?

    • Yes. It’s been such a mess of a year (lots of hospital visits) that I haven’t revised this to say 2021 yet, but the same rules and processes apply.

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